Looming Transitions: starting and finishing well in cross-cultural service, a book I wrote with you in mind, was launched this week. I love to hear the back-stories on books or movies, so thought I’d share with you how this book came to be. In 2007 I transitioned back to China after a three year study leave. About eight months into my transition being (mostly) over and life up and running in China, I was feeling (mostly) settled. My organization asked to lead a workshop on how to finish well, geared toward people who would be returning to the U.S. after having lived and taught in Asia. I jumped at the chance; fresh off my own Band-Aid ripping off experience, I figured I had help to share.
All I needed to do was conduct a little bit of internet research, read some articles, throw in a few personal stories, and voilà one basically ready-made presentation. My plan went off without a hitch until I did my first internet search. Almost everything about “ending chapters” in life was related to retiring. Retiring is certainly a major area for looming transitions and finishing well. But what about all of the transitions that we go through when an end is coming, yet life will still go on after the transition?
The first year I presented the workshop, I pulled together a few thoughts and told myself the problem was my late start in the search. Information was out there and I would find it. During the next year, I found little help for the workshop. I went back to the list of ideas I had created the first year, added more meat to them and the idea of a book began to grow.
This book is for those who will be going through a major life transition, either moving to the field or preparing to return to your “home” country. It covers all of the potential moves you might make: to the field, back to your home country for a Home Assignment or furlough, or if you sense for now your time on the field is coming to a close. Chance are you’ve been around someone who left the field without finishing as well as they could, either because they shut down too early or started too late.
Allowing parts of yourself to die in order to create space for new life and seasons is not for the faint of heart. But it can be done. The burning question this book answers is how can you keep your soul fertile and sanity intact during transitions?
There are no simple platitudes offered in Looming Transition. You won’t find “three easy steps to anything.” However, you will find suggestions for your soul, your stuff, and your sanity.
This book is intended for the 4-6 months before you move and benefits of Looming Transitions include:
- 11 ways to stay connected to God through transition
- 7 areas of your personal life that can experience revival in the midst of upheaval
- 5 places to look for messes in your life (and ways to keep the mess in check)
- 4 key aspects to know about yourself and loved ones going into a transition (one example is How to know if you are pre- or post-griever (and why it matters))
- 5 significant arenas to start early
- It’s not all about you: 3 important steps that allow others to end this season of your life well
- Insight on how to grieve a transition that is slow in coming
- How to identify and manage stress leading up to a transition
Looming Transitions is available on Amazon—both in paperback and kindle. In addition, I’ve created graphics you can use for blogs, newsletters, and social media as a small way to help those of you in transitions! If you could help spread the word to mission committees, organizations and people you know who will be transitioning to or from the field, you can be a part of helping more to start and finish well in cross-cultural service. This book can also be offered at a discount for purchases of 10 copies or more (messymiddle (at) gmail (dot) com).
Because I know many of you are in need of this book now, I’d love to offer three copies to readers of A Life Overseas. Leave a comment about the type of transition you’re in or who you’d give this book to and three winners will be drawn and notified on Monday.
With blessing, Amy
*** The giveaway is now over and the winners have been notified. I am blessed and humbled by this community! To slow me down and keep me grounded in your needs, for the drawing I wrote each of your names on a piece of paper and prayed for you. The outpouring of comments has reminded me of how very much we need each other, we need A Life Overseas, and we need resources. Very blessed to be a part of all that’s going on here as we know the truth that life is hard, God is good, and God is sovereign and do our best to understand and hold all three in tension.